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Kalaburagi’s Stint with Enabling Enriching Learning Experiences at Scale

Today, at the lunch table at the Mantra4Change office in Bengaluru, Sindhu from the Kalaburagi Team exclaimed joyfully, looking at her phone. She shared a testimonial coming in live from the Pragatiya Hejje* event:

*Pragatiya Hejje is an Annual District-level Celebration Event for School Leaders in Karnataka

Shaila has struggled with speech impairment for the longest time. Today, she presented a teaching-learning material so well at the event - her mother was in tears listening to her! I am very happy today and full of hope for what this program can achieve.

-Shabana Yasmeen (left)

Head Mistress, Shellagi High School

Chittapura Taluk, Kalaburagi District

The Mantra Team and Kalaburagi DIET officials brainstorming for School Connectedness.

In North Karnataka, the Kalaburagi and Yadgir districts have enabled joy in their schools over the last nine months. The districts began designing a program to support School Leaders when the Additional Commissioner of Public Instructions highlighted Kalaburagi’s sub-par performance in the 10th Board examinations. After their needs assessment exercises and landscaping, Sindhu and her team identified the following challenges and solutions through focus group discussions and workshops with the District Institute of Education and Training (DIET):

The Challenge

The Targeted Student Experience

Families in the area tend to migrate frequently for work, leading to lower feelings of connectedness to their schools and peers and subsequent low attendance.

School Connectedness* through

Student clubs and cabinet.

Student-led teaching-learning material (TLM) creation and showcase.

*Read more about School Connectedness in our paper on Enriching Learning Experiences.

The result has been overwhelmingly positive, watching enriching learning experiences unfold from interventions at the district level.

Students from schools across the Kalaburagi division create and showcase their teaching-learning materials in a brilliant display of school connectedness.

At Mantra, we are on a mission to create a movement of education leaders to build sustainable, holistic and enriching learning experiences for millions of children across India. Over the years, we’ve explored what it takes to design for sustainability by working our way up to design for administrative reform. We have also explored what it takes to design for scale, from school-level design to nationwide movements. While that work continues, we’ve relied on our research, instincts and experiences to define an enriching learning experience. 

How do you decide what student experiences you want to help enable? What are some changes in learning environments that, when enabled, can cause significant shifts in students’ holistic outcomes? What are these enriching learning experiences?

About two years ago, we formally stepped back to define an enriching learning experience for our programs. Colab’s paper, by the same name, explores the influence of the school, classroom, and community environment on students' learning experiences through a literature review. It emphasises the significance of a positive school culture. It delves into various aspects of the learning environment, including the physical, social, emotional, and instructional elements. The research aims to identify and present the elements that make school and learning lessons pleasurable for every child, ultimately contributing to more effective and enriching learning experiences. 

Since we’ve started compiling this paper, all of our Mantra and Colab teams have returned to the drawing board and identified the specific learning experiences their programs are enabling. We’ve also used this paper for inspiration on which student experience we can aim to enable after our needs assessment exercises.

You can find a brief of our findings here. Some of these findings are intuitive, but they have directed us to focus on enriching the student learning experience, informed by tangible research and evidence. This paper can help inform program design for other teams designing for enriching learning experiences and will help bring students to the centre of the programs. The paper has also formed a basis for us to continue our research. The next step for our research outcomes will be identifying how these factors can be enabled!

You can find the full paper here. If you’re interested in collaborating with us on exploring enriching learning experiences in even more depth, contact us at If you’re looking for ways to implement the School Improvement Framework, contact us at

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